The Oberammergau Passion Plays are famous all over the world. The villagers of Oberammergau present the last five days of Jesus’ life in a performance lasting several hours. The Passion Play was first performed in 1634 to honour a pledge following an outbreak of the plague. From 1680 it was played every ten years.
In 1633, 80 residents of Oberammergau were struck down by the plague. The residents of Oberammergau vowed to perform a Passion Play regularly if they were spared from the plague.
From this day on, there were no more recordings of deaths from the plague.
In 1674, the Passion Play was enhanced by parts of a Weilheim Passion Play by Johann Älbl.
Oberammergau became the model for other Passion Play localities. The stage was originally a simple wooden structure, which was enhanced with backdrops and stage technology over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries.
In 2020, the Passion Play Festival runs from 16th May to 4th October!